Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy (BCST) is a gentle hands-on bodywork that orients the interconnected rhythms and structures of the whole being towards health. BCST uses light touch to effect physiological and structual change. Arising from an osteopathic tradition, the approach engages in relationship with connective tissue, musculoskeletal, nervous system and the dynamic fluid motion in the body to facilitate ease in patterns of tension resulting from injury, stress or emotional strain.
Life is vibrant with fluid motion. On a physiological level, an infant's blood is pumping, nerves fire impulses from head to toe, cerebrospinal fluid bathes the infant's central nervous system, and his or her cells and tissues are literally “breathing” with fluid motion. From the time before an infant is born to present, his or her body has been in constant relationship with the surrounding environment. A relationship that shapes his or her responses through this fluid system, which contributes to an emerging sense of self with wide-ranging capacities to relate to each new moment of life. When an infant experiences health, his or her body and mind are regulated and responsive to what’s happening in the here and now. Out of balance, an infant can experience symptoms of emotional distress or physiological dysregulation, which might appear as sleep disruption, difficulties feeding or settling. During one of the most profound windows of early relational and physiological development, BCST is particularly helpful in responding to common difficulties of the newborn that would otherwise impede an infant’s optimal development.
BCST can be useful to support
Breastfeeding/ feeding, reflux and digestive issues
Tongue/ lip tie pre- and post revision
Nervous system regulation
Resolution of birth trauma
Failure to thrive
Though BCST touch is gentle and non-invasive, the effects can be profound. Rather than approaching treatment through protocol, BCST follows the child's regulatory rhythms. In this way, the child's body and comfort level dictates the pace and sequence of treatment. This child-centered approach supports an optimal sense of safety, which in turn leads to, engagement, integration and empowerment for the infant.
"After 5 months of struggling to figure out why my daughter was having issues transferring milk, I was given Bronwyn's contact information to see if craniosacral therapy might help. After 2 sessions, my daughter doubled the amount of milk she transferred while nursing! I also saw huge improvements in her overall mobility. She was struggling with rolling over to her belly and immediately after our sessions, she was able to roll with ease!"
Marcie B., Mother of 5 month old.
Birth has many forms, all of which have a unique imprint on the emerging physiological and emotional systems of the newborn. Oftentimes, the practices of sensitive day-to-day care giving with a newborn can support an infant’s system to regulate and integrate these early experiences. However, if restrictions from these early experiences do not spontaneously correct, they can be exacerbated by further physical and emotional stressors, impacting development and sometimes leading to behavior, learning and emotional regulation issues in childhood and common pain patterns and emotional challenges of adult life, such as digestive issues, headaches, fatigue, depression or anxiety.
Considering the Parent-Infant relationship
BCST is an ideal practice for supporting co-regulatory processes that underlie security of parent-infant attachment. In the early months following birth, the primary role of the caregiver is to ensure the infant’s safety and to support the infant to transition between states of wakeful curiosity, hunger, distress, rest and sleep. During the course of this early dance, the infant is learning to trust that his caregiver is reliable and responsive to his or her needs.
Internal or external stressors impacting the primary caregiver or any part of a care giving system, including history of unresolved trauma, illness, birth complications, depression, loss, absence of support – even significant positive change, can impact the caregivers ability to remain regulated and responsive. BCST is a useful approach to supporting awareness and regulation for both caregiver and infant, bringing attention to physiological sensations and patterns and the non-verbal cues that signal distress and increasing understanding of how to support greater health and sense of safety in the system as a whole.
What to expect in a session
Infant BCST is performed in a comfortable supportive environment, where the infant can freely move and/or is in the arms of the primary caregiver. The practitioner uses gentle touch to listen and respond to the infant's subtle physiological shifts. This gentle contact brings the infant's awareness to holding patterns and restrictions and ultimately to health in his or her system in order to support ease and decrease symptoms. While infant sessions are typically 60 min in duration, hands-on time with an infant will vary according to the infant's needs.
Infant/Toddler sessions incorporate both Infant Developmental Movement Education and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. Sessions are offered at Secure Beginnings (formerly Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center, Oak View, CA). Home visits may be available.
Fee: $80/session. Sliding scale is available.
Monthly by-donation clinic benefitting Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center is also offered.